In Brunei, red flag raised on health products

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - The Ministry of Health (MoH) has raised the red flag on two types of health products, following an alert through the Asean Post Marketing Alert System by Food and Drug Administration, Thailand. The affected products are found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine.

The affected products are:

- Lyn FS - Three DTOX (Dietary supplement product by pim), which has been adulterated with Bisacodyl; and

- Lyn Block Burn Break Build (Dietary supplement product by pim), adulterated with Sibutramine. Both products are manufactured by Food Science Supply Service Co Ltd, Thailand.

The MoH also alerted the public to four types of health products tested by the Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, MoH and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicines.

The affected products are:

- Kuda Merah Kapsul Herba, manufactured by Irhaz Global Ventures Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, and adulterated with Acetaminophen and Sildenafil;

- Size Genix Extreme Size Booster 1577mg Capsule, manufactured by Incredible Health Decisions, USA, and adulterated with Sildenafil;

- Raja Super Resdong Kapsul, manufactured by Mohd Hasyim bin Haji Anuar (Malaysia), and adulterated with Chlorpheniramine and Dexamethasone; and

- Hoichun Zaizao Wan Capsule, manufactured by Anjian Herbal (HK) Medical Works, and adulterated with Chlorpheniramine and Dexamethasone

The adulterant found in this product can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to users.

Biscodyl is a used for treating constipation. Unsupervised consumption can cause cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and hypokalaemia (low potassium levels).

Sibutramine is a body slimming agent that is no longer recommended for its use in obesity treatment as its effects can be detrimental to the heart and liver. It can also cause serious adverse effects such as high blood pressure, uncertain heartbeat and difficulty in sleeping. In severe cases, it can cause damage to the kidneys and liver.

Acetaminophen or Paracetamol is a medicine that can be used for pain-relief and to reduce fever. Excessive use may lead to liver damage, kidney failure, coma and result in death.

Sildenafil is a drug used to treat male impotency and can only be prescribed by a qualified doctor or a physician. Among their side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushing and dizziness. In severe cases, they can also result in the abnormal increase in the heart rate, sudden loss of hearing and seizures.

Dizziness, lowering of blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, confusion, depression and convulsions are among the adverse effects that could occur from the unsupervised consumption of Chlorpheniramine.

Unsupervised long-term consumption of potent corticosteroids such as Dexamethasone can cause increase blood glucose levels leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cataract, muscular and bone disorders, and an increased risk of infections.

Long term use of corticosteroids can also lead to Cushing’s syndrome which is characterised by a round face or ‘moon face’, and upper body obesity with thin limbs.

Consumers who have taken high doses of steroids over a prolonged period may suffer from withdrawal symptoms which include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever, low blood sugar, low blood pressure and dehydration.

The MoH has not issued approval for the importation for the sale of these products. Following these findings, the products are prohibited from being imported and sold in Brunei. Members of the public who have purchased or used these products are advised to discontinue use immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience undesirable reactions as a result of use.

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